Saturday, September 26, 2009

adventurous venture

friday night's critical mass was apparently on the 11 o'clock news on channel 10. film crews and photographers were at government center for the beginning of the ride interviewing people and snapping pics of people and they're bikes. this individual was quite successful in eluding such paparazzi. yes!!!
not so great was my falling behind from the group once the ride started. i waited behind until most of the group fled from government center because i like to watch the sea of cyclist descend thru the streets of downtown like a military troop going into battle, well maybe not as organized as that but you catch my drift. anyhow, once most of the riders had gone i followed at a slow to moderate pace, figuring i could always catch up. i noticed this girl that lagged behind once we came down the bridge on flagler not even a mile from our starting point. trying to be nice and courteous i waited for her and when i noticed she didnt have a light i stayed behind her, once again figuring we'd catch up with the group. not having "studied" the route i thought the group made a right when in fact they kept on straight. not being sure i sped up to make sure and when i didnt see anyone i admitted my mistake and apologized to the girl for making her go the wrong way so we turned around. mind you it didnt take me but a minute to figure out my mistake. but even a minute is a long time when your trying to catch up to people on bikes.
after that we needed to pick up the pace abit so that we could have a chance of catching up. however, my companion did not at all seem to mind as she was riding as leisurely as someone riding in a park on sunday morning. everyone knows that flagler on a friday at 7 pm is hardly a sunday ride. i wanted to be riding in a group where we would be safer because cars have no choice but to pay attention when there are 100+ bicyclist, not just two. i might add that 4 or 5 others that had lagged came up behind us quite fast, obviously trying to catch up as well. they were riding as one should ride when your trying to catch up.
not seeing the flashing back lights of the group and having a passerby yell that the group made a left i called mario to see where they were. he told me they had made a left on 37th and we were headed to 42nd. my patience wearing thin with my lax companion, i told her we needed to make a left on lejuene because we had missed our turn. i decided that maybe if i set the pace she would keep up so i took the lead and we rode on the side walk because the cars were flying on the road and honestly i was pretty scared to get hit. had i been alone and known the area better i would've opted for neighborhood side streets where the flow of traffic would've been better.
on i rode at a moderately fast pace trying to catch up to the group which i heard was on ponce de leon by this time. after some time i finally saw them make a left onto the street i was on. upon seeing them and knowing which way they were headed i stopped at that corner and waited for my fellow straggler. she was nowhere in sight. i thought perhaps i rode abit too fast for her to keep up and felt a little pain of guilt rush in my gut. i kept looking and waited for a couple minutes and when i didn't see her and felt that i waited long enough i darted ahead once again trying to catch up to the group. this time, sure that no one was following me, i sprinted down lejuene as fast as my legs would pedal. getting stopped by a red light on bird and not seeing where the group went i lagged behind yet again. by the time i reached us1 i was completely lost from the group. once again calling mario, who had no idea where they were at, had patti call me and set me right with they're whereabouts which was once again 37th, crossing us1, going into coconut grove. now i was on 42nd and us1. they were but a few blocks up the road from where i was. so what do you think this intelligent, capable being who managed to find addresses in faraway cities across the country when he was a tour manager for a band do? he went the wrong way. in the famous words of homer simpson...d'oh!!
finally getting close to sunset place and realizing yet again another blunder on my part, i made a u-turn and booked ass back. made a right on ponce, came up to a red light and was unsure of where to go. i stood at the intersection looking for blinking red lights which were no where to be found. i felt like ralph macchio in crossroads when he's waiting for the devil to roll up to make a deal with him for guitar skills. finally i decided on going straight into the grove. then i heard someone call my name and saw omar and rod on the sidewalk fixing a flat tire which was a relief because i welcomed the break from hauling ass and the company. whats equally great is how my friends and i, for the most part, try to be prepared and carry a spare tube, tools and a pump wherever we ride. if you don't i highly recommend it. don't expect others to help you out of a jam. be as self-reliant as possible.
so finally, after getting hassled abit for apparently taking up the whole sidewalk we were on our way but had to ride slow because we couldn't pump enough air into rod's tire. in which case we decided to take the metrorail back to government center instead of continuing on bikes. by this time however the group had already made it back and the ride was over. needless to say i was kind of relieved when i boarded the train to start heading back to hialeah.
once we got to okeechobee station, mario and i decided to ride to miami lakes to meet up with francis at this restaurant/bar place called el pimiento where she was hanging out. we decided to take back streets and avoid the main streets for obvious reasons. on one of those quiet streets we came upon a van making what seemed like a right, going in the direction we were heading, to then switch and start going left to then a complete u-turn. mario asked if this guy had seen us and i answered "yea dude", thinking he did. i guess he didn't because he hit me and in turn my front wheel hit mario's back wheel and next thing i knew we were falling. luckily, the van wasn't going fast so it was more of a tap than a hit. after assessing our well being, and that of our bikes, we proceeded to verbally nail into the driver who was really apologetic and scared that something had happened to us and/or our bikes. i think what saved him from getting his ass whooped was the fact that he was aware that he had done something wrong and was in no way trying to pawn it off as our fault. he was in amazement and kept asking where we came from. in the end it turns out that him being on the phone prevented him from paying full attention to what he was doing, which was driving a very large vehicle.
because neither one of us was hurt and our bikes didn't get banged up i can laugh about it and add it to my collection of good stories of things that have happened to me. had the outcome been different i probably wouldn't be writing this post now. so let this be a lesson to all those out there reading, please exercise caution while operating a vehicle and talking on your cell phones. me included. we all text or talk on the phone while driving and it really does take your attention away from the road. all it takes is one second and you and someone else life can change forever in a bad way.
so that was the adventure. mario and i eventually made it to el pimento and i hung out for abit. i drank some much needed water then rode back to the shop to get my car and finally drive home, which i was very glad to do so, btw.
here are some pics.

this is on the second level of the parking structure at okeechobee station. i will be filming my weekly talk show here soon entitled "hobo talk". stay tuned.

rod's red cross bike. yes, it saves lives.

two pals talking about bikes.

some dude riding the rail with us. i love sneaking pics of strangers. i tried to get the guy to my right but he busted me and gave me a look that said "take my pic and you will die". loud and clear, buddy. now your not on my blog. thats your bad.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the bicycle thief

just watched the bicycle thief, aka the bicycle thieves or in italian ladri di bicciclette. what a frustrating movie. i thought it was good but i found myself so frustrated and upset at various points in the movie. i can't remember feeling that much sympathy for a character in a movie since...i don't know, rambo: first blood when he gets arrested for walking through a small town in washington state wearing an army jacket with a patch of the american flag and sporting a mullet. fucking cops! he just found out his vietnam buddy passed away and all he wanted was a good, warm meal.
if you haven't seen the movie i recommend it (yeah, first bood too). it is set in post-WWII Italy and basically shows how people dealt with the difficult economic conditions of that time; poverty and desperation. sort of similar to what some unfortunate people are going through at this time.
the movie begins with the protagonist getting a job wheat pasting posters around the city through what seems like the unemployment office and being told that it requires him having access to a bicycle. as a matter of fact he's told specifically "no bicycle, no job". the thing is that he pawned his bike to buy groceries for his family. he's naturally bummed and bitches to his wife about it so she takes the linens off the bed saying "we don't need sheets to sleep" and off they go to pawn the sheets. with that money he gets his bike back and up he is bright and early the next morning with his son to start his new job. he drops his son at his gas station job (yes, his 7 year old son has a job too) and he begins his work putting up posters of rita hayworth no less.
on his first day, boof, some kid steals his bike. he runs after him yelling "stop! thief!" but to no avail. no one helps either. so, after filing a report with the cops, he returns home that night super bummed but doesn't want to hear his wife nag so instead goes and consults this one buddy of his and he tells him about some markets around town where he might be able to find his bike cos one can sell or buy bike parts at these places. he goes with his son and after various false accusations, sightings of the kid that stole his bike but not being able to catch him, which contributes to some of the frustration of the film, almost getting beat up by a mob and smacking his son in the face out of sheer stress over his situation he gives up and decides to say "fuck it! lets get eat and get drunk!"and yeah, to his 7 year old son. they go into a restaurant, order some sandwiches and a bottle of wine and go at it for awhile.
at this point in the movie you start wondering, or atleast i did, why doesn't this dude just steal a bike. which he does but he gets caught by a slew of italian dudes in suits running after him (all of a sudden people care and intervene). how he cannot out run them on this bike i don't know. he doesn't get taken to jail because the owner of the bicycle takes pity on him on account of seeing this 7 year old, whose probably drunk at this point, crying at his pitiful father's leg. man, i was bummed for this guy. shit was really grim back then. and to top it all off, majority of italians portrayed in this movie sound like they could've been hanging at a random flea market in hialeah or little havana where someone is handing out free something or other: loud and annoying as fuck.
all in all it was a good movie. kind of a bummer but i say watch it if you haven't yet and if you don't mind old movies with subtitles. in other words, if you can read. but chances are if your reading this, your golden like mustard.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

yet another experience i wouldve missed had i not had a bike

lastnite ben, patti and i went on a very sweet bike ride from downtown/wynwood area to the grove. the weather called for scattered thunderstorms and cloudy skies but luckily we got no rain whatsoever during our excursion. upon arriving at the grove we decided that, as none of us had eaten dinner, find some place where we could grab a bite. we agreed on getting a smoothie instead of an actual meal cos we didnt want to be too full to ride. so we rode on to the smoothie king and ordered 3 medium smoothies. i got the acai adventure, which i fully recommend. ben and patti got the pep upper, which they dont recommend (and does not have pepper as one of its main ingredients) as after a few sips and a lengthy debate they decided to see if they could exchange it for a different kind. the guy who worked there was super nice and made them new ones which they were totally pumped on.
while at the smoothie king this dude with a messenger bag rolls in to get a cliff bar. after he pays he comes around and asks about our bikes. we began to talk and turns out he rides too. awesome. he asks where we riding to and we tell him we're just cruising and invite him to ride with us (another reason why more people should ride bikes; it makes you incredibly friendly to complete strangers. and, if you ask me, we can all stand to be considerably friendlier to other people we dont know).
so i get to chatting with arthur a little more and then all of a sudden it clicks that i know this guy. well not know him, per say, but know of him. turns out he is the author of a very amusing blog, i think so atleast, that i was reading on a regular back in june until he slacked on updating it so i gave up on it. its called i really hate miami, which on the title alone i was sold because well, who doesnt hate miami? at least alittle? or maybe alot?
anyway, this was amazing because just this very past week, while riding back from the beach on the venetian from getting a smoothie at juice and java (yup, im a smoothmin), i was thinking "hey whatever happened to that blog 'i really hate miami'? its a shame that kid slacked on it, it was pretty funny. if i ever meet that guy im gonna give him a piece of mind, WTF!" well, lo and behold, i did and i didnt even know it until i asked him if he had lived in miami all his life and he said yes with such disdain that i immediately knew.
it was glorious! he was amazed that i even knew about it, much less read it, and i proceeded to tell him "WTF dude! update that shit!". which he has and apparently i gave up on it too soon. so check out arthur's blog sometime if your bored or whatever. turns out hes a nicer guy that i wouldve expected by his rants and apparent disgust with certain things that are miami.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

me and a navel piercing...yeah, seriously...

so yesterday for the sake of oscar's, our shop's body piercing apprentice, education i agreed to let him pierce my navel so that he can get a hang of it. boy, let me tell fucking hurt! and funny enough, i was pretty nervous before. it was totally worth it for the pics tho and at least now when a customer asks me if it hurts i can look at them in the eye and honestly say HELL YES!! that and i got to help our apprentice get one step closer to making a little extra cash.

before the ordeal.

making sure its straight.

im pretty nervous here. look at my face. shits serious son!!

ooof...this sucked.

oh its real, buddy.

super sexy pose. shitty looking.

oscar admiring his work.

yup, its on there alright.

its a navel piercing on a dude, no big deal ladies.

and no, i didn't keep it on. im not gonna lie i did consider it since halloween is around the corner and all but no.
so if anyone has anything they'd like to get pierced please come by the Black Sparrow Tattoo and help oscar out. he did a real good job and either rita or myself will be there to help him out. so spread the word if you know of anyone that wants a cheap piercing by our apprentice oscar.

by the way, today; 09/09/09 = 27. get into it!

Monday, September 7, 2009


the other day some of us at the shop got LTD tattoos. for those of you not hip to it, LTD = living the dream. get into it!!

getting in there...ouch, dude!


tattoos f*%@ing hurt! i don't care what anyone tells you.

get into my point of view...kinda like Being John Malkovich but not really cos my name is not John Malkovich.


good job, 'teeks!

like i said they hurt. here we have albert saying so while emphasizing the "ur" part in "hurt".

gotta make sure they're in there.

and they are in albert's fingers.

and its only proper i show one i did on ben some months ago.

so thanks for reading again. i urge you all to live your dream, whatever it may be, and as always...ride on!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

girl power?

this past friday was the critical mass ride and as usual it was loads of fun. francis took a spill early on in the ride tho. take a look:

oooh...the elbow...ouch...

her knee too...

by the way, i include these on the blog not to make fun but to give credit to her for being a mega-trooper and getting right back up and continuing on the rest of the ride. way to go, tour de francis!

heres her smiling even after the ride was through

and just for the record, her accident had nothing to do with ben. he wasn't even anywhere near her when it happened. he's pretty accident prone and if he's not falling then he's making someone else fall. they don't call him Crash for nothing i guess.

and while on the topic of women that are, or were, doing it i'd like to bring your attention to Mrs. Abigail Adams, the second first lady of these here united states. i started watching the John Adams mini-series that came out on HBO last year. she was his wife and mother to John Quincy Adams who became the 6th president. read abit about her here. what i find most interesting is that even in those times when women had virtually no rights whatsoever, and were merely expected to take care of the household and raise the children, she played an active part in the shaping of this country. one of the ways that she did so was by her constructive criticism and sound advice that she offered to her husband in matters of politics and business. what's equally as impressive, for that time, is his humility at seeking such advice from her. and why shouldn't he? she was his wife afterall.

ride on and read on, peeps!